5 Things you should always look for while visiting a Manicure Salon

Image: © Netfalls / Fotolia

Let’s face it, we all know that nail polish isn’t the healthiest thing out there either for the people working in the manicure salon or the people getting a manicure. Full of chemicals, they can be harmful to the health when inhaled and the process itself can also be harmful. Having said that, risks can always be minimized and these are the things to look out for in a good manicure salon.

There is little that can make you feel so good, as quickly as a new manicure and people have been coloring their nails for over 5,000 years! Something tells me we’re not going to stop any time soon. We just need to practice safe manicures!

Things to look for:

  1. There must be a good ventilation system in operation so that fumes do not build up. Nail polishes contain 3 unbelievably toxic chemicals. There’s dibutyl phthalate (DBP), named as being a factor in reproductive damage; toluene, which can damage the neurological system; and formaldehyde, which has been identified as a cause of cancer. Your own exposure will be minimal, of course, but spare a thought for the people whose work makes you feel so pampered. You shouldn’t be able to smell the polish when you walk in and should speak to the management if the ventilation is poor.


  1. You’d be shocked if you went for dental treatment and the dentist wasn’t wearing a mask and gloves, and the manicure salon staff should be wearing gloves, too, to protect both themselves and you. The small nicks or damage to the skin around the nails that can occur during a manicure can make it easy for viruses and bacteria to jump host. It would also be good to see that masks are provided for the staff, who unlike you, are exposed to the fumes all day and on a daily basis. A manicure salon that takes good care of its staff is more likely to take good care of its clients.


  1. They’re SUPER conscientious about cleanliness and the sterilization of manicure Nail diseases, especially fungal ones, can be passed on in sloppy salons as any fungus left in the foot spa, for example, isn’t easy to get rid of and requires special anti-fungal tretment products.



  1. They suggest you use sunscreen product on your hands. It may come as a surprise but there is some concern about the effects on the hands exposed to the UV light that is used to set a gel-manicure. Chris Adigun, from New York University School of Medicine, said the UV lamps damage the skin cells in a similar way to the solarium. (e.g. age spots, cancer and wrinkles.) She is also concerned that the machines are not regulated so there is no way of monitoring the exposure manicure clients are receiving. While manufacturers reassure us that the exposure is no more than most of us receive during our day to day life, a little sunscreen never did any harm.

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